Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A trillion dollars...!

Since Manchester City were taken over by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed and friends on Monday (Sep 1) - not that the deal is technically completed yet - it has been amazing to see how many football fans have failed to grasp just how much cash the club now have access to.

There have also been many comparisons to Chelsea, and their super-rich owner Roman Abramovich. However, even with his billions, Red Rom no longer looks very rich. Which, for a man worth $23.5billion according to Forbes, highlights just how ridiculous the situation in Manchester is.

Fortunately, today's Mirror (see here) contains a very useful article about the Manchester City cash - and outlines a few things many football fans probably wouldn't consider, including the effect of oil prices on the amount of cash available to City's new owners.

Apparently, bin Zayed "rakes in $500m a day if oil rises $1 a barrel". Fascinating, as while a global financial slide could limit the amount of cash available to nearly every club, the fact the price of oil would rise would actually help Man City.

The total worth of bin Zayed's family (the rulers of Abu Dhabi) is claimed to be $1trillion - or £555billion. For all intents and purposes, this represents a bottomless pit. Given their investments across the globe, it's hard to imagine how money could be spent faster than interest is generated. And that's why silly-money moves will be made in future transfer windows, to add to Monday's £32.4million Robinho deal.

I read an interesting post on an Aston Villa fans forum yesterday (see here) that suggested a fortune of £100billion would generate £600million every 45 days, assuming a moderate interest rate of five per cent. The £600million figure was used as that is, apparently, the estimated worth of Villa owner Randy Lerner.

If those figures are accurate, and given the amount of numbers that are being flung around right now it's hard to tell, it's clear that if Chelsea and Roman Abramovich are being made to look poor, Aston Villa and Randy Lerner - a club who were competing with Man City - have been made to look totally irrelevant.

So does anyone still believe football's not dying?